Ventilatory Mechanics in Patients with Cardio-Pulmonary Diseases. Part III. On Pulmonary Fibrosis

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1 Ventilatory Mechanics in Patients with Cardio-Pulmonary Diseases Part III. On Pulmonary Fibrosis Kazuaki SERA, M.D. Pulmonary function studies have been undertaken on the pulmonary fibrosis as diagnosed clinically with an aid of X-rays. The pulmonary function test was made with special reference to ventilatory mechanics. Studies were also made by comparing with the case of congestive heart failure previously referred in the Part II and the results obtained have been reported in the present paper. The pulmonary function examined in clinically diagnosed pulmonary fibrosis has revealed restrictive impairment viewed from ventilatory mechanics, yet it still be complicated with high percentage of the condition of chronic obstructive emphysema. Such a condition of restrictive pulmonary impairment is found to be complicated likewise in the case of congestive heart failure. A method known as regitine test in pulmonary function test has been adopted as a reliable mean to differentiate pulmonary fibrosis from congestive heart failure by observing changes in pulmonary compliance. The effect of prednisolone was observed in pulmonary fibrotic cases and its efficiency as the therapeutic agent in resumption of pulmonary function was found. T has so far been recognized that pulmonary fibrosis is a condition of an abnormally increased fibrotic connective tissue in the lung. According to Spain,1) fibrotic transformation arises in pulmonary alveolar membrane, pulmonary interstitial substance, pulmonary vessel, pulmonary bronchial system and pleura. Richards,2) on the other hand, divided pulmonary fibrosis into 2 categories, i.e. local and diffuse pulmonary fibrosis: pulmonary infarction, pulmonary atelectasis, pulmonary abscess and radiation pulmonary fibrosis are classified into the former group, while old-aged lung, sarcoidosis and chronic congestive heart failure into the latter. From the Department of Internal Medicine, Division I (Director: Professor Tatsuya TOMOMATSU, M.D.), Kobe Medical College, Kobe. These studies were supported by the funds of scientific research work in Japanese Ministry of Education, buying the apparatus of ventilatory mechanics. 170

2 Vol. 2 No. 2 VENTILATORY MECHANICS IN CARDIO-PULMONARY DISEASES 171 It is important for us to clarify the characteristics of pulmonary function in the condition of pulmonary fibrosis in general, because it is the resultant condition subsequent to the various diseases, especially cardiopulmonary lesion. In this report, attempts are made to examine pulmonary fibrosis from the aspect of mechanics of breathing, emphasizing "pressure efficiency in respiration" already reported in the previous studies,3) and to differentiate the pulmonary fibrosis from congestive heart failure, as both conditions present identical results in so far as pulmonary function tests are concerned. METHODS AND MATERIALS As already mentioned, pulmonary fibrosis can be classified into 2 types, i.e. local and diffuse. For the present studies, the author has assumed that the cases of diffuse pulmonary fibrosis will be the choice since the aim of the study is to find pulmonary function as a whole. The 14 cases chosen were those diagnosed as pulmonary fibrosis, and all of these have presented X-ray findings of pulmonary fibrotic changes. Most of these patients had complaints of dyspnea, but none of them had history of bronchial asthma or pulmonary emphysema characterized by enlarged chest wall. Among them one patient was diagnosed as the case of Hamman-Rich disease verified by biopsy findings. Out of 14 patients, 7 were eliminated from the study because they were found by spirometric tests to be complicated with either obstructive signs or emphysema due to chronic obstruction. The remaining 7 cases have been selected as a group in order to study the true characteristics of pulmonary fibrosis. In addition, to investigate the general trend of diffuse obstructive emphysema, 7 cases were selected where 6 cases presented the history of bronchial asthma and one chronic bronchitis. These cases were diagnosed on the basis of X-ray findings characterized by either marked descent of diaphragm or clear pulmonary fields, accompanied with enlarged chest wall, and symptoms such as dyspnea after exertion. In comparison with the above cases, pulmonary function studies were made in 16 cases with congestive heart failure of Class III in classification of New York Heart Association. Moreover, regitine-test in pulmonary function was performed in 5 cases of Class III and 4 cases of Class IV, and additional 9 cases of Class I or II. For the normal subjects, 7 were chosen in whom no cardio-pulmonary diseases were found by physical examination and chest X-ray film. Pulmonary function tests were performed on the subjects in supine position. The normal value was estimated by the normal predicted vital capacity value of Baldwin's supine position; maximum breathing capacity was figured out by obtaining the predicted value per body surface area according to the classification of sex and age following Baldwin and others and to the data obtained by means of spirometer in 250 normal subjects who were examined in supine position at rest.

3 172 SERA Jap. Heart J. April, 1961 Functional residual capacity was recorded by open circuit method of pure oxygen breathing; and such items as pulmonary compliance, respiratory work and "pressure efficiency in respiration" were obtained by intraesophageal pressure method;4),5) effective pulmonary compliance was calculated by average 10 respiratory cycles, while airflow resistance was calculated by 6 to 10 respiratory cycles in average after measuring it by interruption method at the inspiratory mid-point. Pressurevolume curve was drawn by choosing a respiratory cycle in which effective pulmonary compliance and tidal volume showed the nearest value to the mean value of 10 respiratory cycles. RESULTS A) Characteristics of Selected Pulmonary Fibrosis. Among 14 patients in whom diffuse fibrotic process of the lungs was observed on X-ray film, some showed a notable check valve mechanism on Tiffeneau curve, while some showed a remarkable air trapping with Leslie index of more than 5%. Air trapping, strongly suggestive of diffuse obstructive emphysema, was also well demonstrated on the spirogram made for maximum breathing capacity test. Hence, pulmonary fibrotic cases which were thought to be complicated with emphysema due to chronic obstructive nature had to be eliminated. Thus 7 cases were selected out of 14 patients. It is true high percentage of pulmonary fibrosis cases are complicated with the condition of emphysema due to chronic obstruction and the fibrosis of small bronchial tree seemed to be the main factor. Table I. Ventilatory Mechanics in Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis, Pulmonary Emphysema and Congestive Heart Failure Class III

4 Vol. 2 No. 2 VENTILATORY MECHANICS IN CARDIO-PULMONARY DISEASES 173 As shown in Table I, "pressure efficiency in respiration" of the selected cases showed lower value than normal, while "pressure efficiency in respiration" of the other group of patients who were diagnosed as pulmonary fibrosis showed the sharp descent. As for the respiratory work, both selected group and the remainder revealed the value over normal value; however, in effective and static pulmonary compliance, the selected group showed characteristic low value than the normal though some of the non- Table II. Pulmonary Function Studies in Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis, Pulmonary Emphysema and Congestive Heart Failure Class III Note: ( `) show ranges, C.T.I. is cardio-thoracic index.

5 174 SERA Jap. Heart J. April, 1961 selected with pulmonary fibrosis either high or low values. Air flow resistance of the selected cases showed slight increase, recording 3.79 } 0.59cm. H2O/L./sec., while among non-selected pulmonary fibrosis, some had higher value as in emphysema. The results obtained by pulmonary function test are shown in Table II. B) Contrast with Diffuse Obstructive Pulmonary Emphysema. Comparing chronic diffuse obstructive pulmonary emphysema with the selected cases of pulmonary fibrosis, as shown in Table I, there was a common decline of "pressure efficiency in respiration" associated with increased respiratory work, however, definite difference was observed with regard to pulmonary compliance and air flow resistance. In pulmonary emphysema, notable increase was shown in air flow resistance as well as elevation of static pulmonary compliance, but in the selected cases of pulmonary fibrosis, static and effective pulmonary compliance declined and air flow resistance increased to a small extent. In the field of common pulmonary function test, Pco2 of peripheral arterial blood increased in pulmonary emphysema, while that of the selected cases was rather lower than the normal subjects. Although it is commonly accepted that pulmonary N2 emptying rate shows high value in pulmonary emphysema, the selected cases were nearly in the same value as Table III. Characteristic Feature in Pulmonary Function Studies in Patients with Pulmonary Congestion, Pulmonary Fibrosis and Pulmonary Emphysema

6 Vol. 2 VENTILATORY MECHANICS IN CARDIO-PULMONARY DISEASES 175 No. 2 the normal subjects. Air velocity index of pulmonary emphysema was considerably low (0.63 (range )), while the selected cases showed nearly the normal value (0.97 (range )) and timed vital capacity was low in both of these groups, especially in the former. In the selected cases, the percentage of residual volume per total lung capacity was 46.1% on an average, while in the cases of pulmonary emphysema, it was 61.1% on an average. Thus the selected cases of pulmonary fibrosis still showed considerably high value in residual volume percentage though it was low than that of emphysema. Other data are as shown in Table II. C) Difference between Congestive Heart Failure and Pulmonary Fibrosis. The results in congestive heart failure has been reported in part II.7) With reference to difference and similarity among congestive heart failure of Class III, the selected cases of pulmonary fibrosis and chronic diffuse obstructive emphysema were studied. As shown in Table III, the results in congestive heart failure is quite different from those in chronic obstructive emphysema, but identical with those in the selected pulmonary fibrosis. That is to say, congestive heart failure is likely to develop pulmonary compliance as we find in pulmonary fibrosis and differentiation is hardly possible with pulmonary function tests that we use, i.e. measurement of pulmonary compliance, air flow resistance, respiratory work and "pressure efficiency in respiration". Although clinical signs, X-ray findings and electrocardiogram are the possible means of differentiation, the author had attempted the method of differentiation by relying on functional test. D) Differential Diagnosis between Pulmonary Fibrosis and Pulmonary Congestion by Administration of Regitine. Fig. 1. Effective compliance changes in patients with congestive heart failure and pulmonary fibrosis following intravenous injection of regitine.

7 176 SERA Jap. Heart J. April, 1961 Table IV. Changes in Pulmonary Function by Prednisolone Treatment in Three Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis

8 Vol. 2 No. 2 VENTILATORY MECHANICS IN CARDIO-PULMONARY DISEASES 177 As shown in Fig. 1, an investigation was undertaken to differentiate pulmonary fibrosis from pulmonary congestion due to heart failure by variation ratio of pulmonary compliance before and after the injection of regitine 5 to 10mg. intravenously. In congestive heart failure of Class III and IV in classification of New York Heart Association, the response was most remarkable, however, in pulmonary fibrosis, the variation was hardly noticeable, and if there is any, it was less than 10 percent. On the other hand, the variation in 9 cases of Class I and Class II showed no more difference than that of pulmonary fibrosis (not included in Fig. 1). As to pulmonary compliance variation, the highest value was reached within 3 to 10 minutes. Thus, the pulmonary congestion can be predicted by comparing the values before and 5 minutes after the administration of regitine. The same can be said of "pressure efficiency in respiration". "Regitine test" which is proposed by the author is, therefore, an useful way to detect pulmonary congestion. E) Effect of Administration of Prednisolone in the Patient with Pulmonary Fibrosis. An investigation was made by comparing the pulmonary function before and after the administration of prednisolone 5 to 30mg. a day in 3 cases of pulmonary fibrosis for 3 weeks up to 3 months. The results revealed that there were an increased vital capacity and total lung capacity, an elevated peripheral arterial blood O2 saturation and pulmonary compliance, and a decrease in percentage of residual volume per total lung capacity and respiratory work as shown in Table IV. Concerning "pressure efficiency in respiration", it increased much higher, while air flow resistance, air velocity index and percentage of one second timed vital capacity per inspiratory slow vital capacity remained unchanged. DISCUSSION Insomuch as increase in percentage of residual volume per total lung capacity be defined as pulmonary emphysema as Motley8) did, the pulmonary fibrosis should be classifiable under this heading. Mitchell9) stated that such pulmonary fibrosis as silicosis, sarcoidosis and Hamman-Rich disease have been labeled as pulmonary emphysema; however, taking the matter into consideration from the view point of ventilatory mechanics, pulmonary fibrosis is entirely different from diffuse chronic obstructive emphysema, and it should probably be defined as the "disease with substantial restrictive impairment." In pulmonary emphysema in these instances, it has been presumed that the tissue would undergo typical pathological changes. And pulmonary fibrosis is often accompanied by emphysematous changes as presented previously, besides bronchiolar fibrosis may induce obstructive signs. Hence, it

9 178 SERA Jap. Heart J. April, 1961 should not be proper to regard all cases with a sign of obstructive disturbances as chronic obstructive emphysema. The entity of chronic diffuse obstructive emphysema should be interpreted to be characterized by a triad consisting of elevated static pulmonary compliance, advent of check valve mechanism and air-trapping from the aspect of ventilatory mechanics. On the other hand, it has already been stated in Part II that the restrictive impairment is commonly found in either congestive heart failure or pulmonary fibrosis and that the progress of congestive heart failure implies the advancing restrictive impairment. For the differential diagnosis, the administration of regitine has so far been proved to be the most effective procedure although the other methods such as postural change, application of the leg binder to relieve congestion and administration of morphine or cardio-diuretics will be reported later. The regitine test in pulmonary function also serves as a reliable approach to confirm the clinical diagnosis of pulmonary congestion. With reference to the administration of prednisolone, 2 cases out of the 3 have proved its efficiency in improving pulmonary function, indicating the fact that at least a part of pulmonary fibrosis seems to resume pulmonary function. Treatment of Hamman-Rich disease with the administration of prednisolone has been reported by many10),11) with marked improvement in dyspnea and in chest X-ray films, but efficacy of the drug could not be substantiated in the present study, since biopsy has not been attempted to diagnose Hamman-Rich disease. CONCLUSION (1) With the purpose of studying the ventilatory mechanics in pulmonary fibrosis, the author had selected 14 cases which were clinically diagnosed as diffuse fibrosis of the lungs and were confirmed with chest X-ray films. Out of 14, 7 cases which presented no complication were used in the present study as the selected cases of pulmonary fibrosis. The other 7 complicated cases were those developing chronic obstructive pulmonary emphysema with definite signs of check valve mechanism and air trapping. Comparative studies were made among pulmonary emphysema, congestive heart failure and these selected cases of pulmonary fibrosis. It has been found that the cases presented invariably showed restrictive pulmonary impairment just as those with pulmonary congestion. (2) The variation of pulmonary compliance has been regularly observed upon the administration of regitine to these cases of pulmonary fibrosis and congestive heart failure. The more advanced the heart failure, the more variable pulmonary compliance. Regitine test in pulmonary function which is named by the author can be used for the diagnosis of pulmonary congestion.

10 Vol. 2 No. 2 VENTILATORY MECHANICS IN CARDIO-PULMONARY DISEASES 179 (3) Prolonged administration of prednisolone seemed to have resulted in a marked improvement of pulmonary function. Especially it has been elucidated that pulmonary fibrosis is reversible by the elevation of pulmonary compliance and "pressure efficiency in respiration." REFERENCES 1. Spain, D.M.: Ann. Int. Med. 33: 1150, Richards, D.W.: Textbook of Medicine (Cecil & Loeb) 10th ed. p. 915, Yorifuji, S. and Sera, K.: Jap. Circulation J. 24: 1463, Mead, J., et al.: J. Appl. Physiol. 5: 348, Mead, J. and Gaensler, E.A.: J. Appl. Physiol. 14: 81, Ebert R.V., et al.: Am. Rev. Resp. Dis. 80: 114, Sera, K.: Jap. Circulation J. 25: 320, Motley, H.L., et al.: Am. Rev. Tbc. 59: 270, Mitchell, R.S.: Am. Rev. Resp. Dis. 80: 2, Sasai, K., et al.: Respiration & Circulation 7: 692, 1959 (In Japanese). 11. Pinney, C.T. and William, H.H.: Am. J. Med., 20: 308, 1956.

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